Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 - Greece - Day 10 [Athens]

Today, we take an early flight to Athens and spend the day there.

GDM Megaron breakfast bag
Unfortunately, since our flight was 8:15am, we miss out on the crazy buffet breakfast, however, this hotel also had a taken away breakfast bag. Included was a sandwich, muffin, granola bar, banana, apple, juice box, and a bottle of water.

We made it to the airport at around 6:45am and it wasn't very busy when we got there, however, shortly after we went through the security check, it got fairly busy. The airport is very small, with only 7 gates that I could see.

The flight was very short again, about an hour all said and done and when we landed, we took the local express bus instead of the train and the bus was 6 euros each and we got off at the last stop which was Syntagma square. From there, it was a short 10 minute walk to our hotel which will be Hotel Hermes for the next two nights. Unfortunately we were too early to check in, but the hotel did take our luggage while we figured out what to do next.

We were interested in doing the 2 day Meteora tour and inquired at the hotel and unfortunately, they would only take cash, not credit, so we decided to see if we could just visit the tour company itself and see if they took credit. We ended up at Key Tours and when we got there, they told us the price which was 209 euros, Allison asked if a discount was possible, the lady disappeared and came back shortly after and gave us 15% off! No effort at all besides asking nicely. I wonder if it had to do with it being low season or it wasn't fully booked yet? The tour was only 2 days from now, so it was cutting a bit close.

Smile Restaurant, pork gyro pita on top, chicken gyro plate on bottom
Smile Restaurant rock collection
Smile Restaurant is where we went for lunch where we ordered the pork gyro pita and the chicken gyro plate which cost us 12,50 euro. The food seemed salty and it was a bit disappointing at last compared to our previous places like Lucky's in Fira. I didn't understand the appeal. They did have a neat free contest though. Colour a white rock, submit it on Facebook and if your rock is chosen for the year, you will 1,000 euros! We decided to give it a try but ultimately just kept the rock for ourselves though.

Acropolis Museum - Acropolis in Lego!
Acropolis Museum - how they made colours in the past
Next up, the Acropolis Museum which was 5 euros a person and we spent 2 hours here. It is a very interesting place with a lot of artifacts and history behind the Acropolis itself. There were certain sections where you aren't allowed to take pictures and you were quickly told about this if you tried to do it. A first for me, there was an actual archaeologist here where you can ask them questions! Pretty cool!

Acropolis Museum - old gold coins from 7 AD
We ended up going back to the hotel after to check in and rest before heading out again to meet up with our guide from Visit Athens, which is a free tour provided by locals. You arrange the meeting online and you tell them what you would like to see and they bring you around.

Vanessa was very nice and brought us to Stani and ordered 4 items and it was 11 euros in total. The yogurt here was a bit sour, a bit different from what we've normally had so far, but we had no issues with it. The food and service was good.

We chatted about Greece in general, places to visit, talked about herself and things we wanted to visit. Overall, I would recommend it if you had some time.

2,20 for a pita! What a country!
Athens Parliament Building at night (the crowd is watching the Changing of the Guards)
Dinner was at a nearby pita place which cost us 2,20 euros and we ate at the nearby water fountain in front of the parliament building.

How did we run into ANOTHER riot?
Tomorrow, we wander around Athens.